New tax rate to keep away flippers

New tax rate to keep away flippers

MALAYSIA - Ahyat Ishak was in the midst of selling off a property when Budget 2014 was tabled which saw hikes in the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT).

It was higher and tighter than he expected.

"Because of this announcement, I would have to make several different decisions. I bought that house less than three years ago.

"Previously, I would have been taxed 10 per cent as RPGT, but with the recent announcement, I would need to fork out 30 per cent of my profits for the RPGT.

"So right now, I am thinking that I should not sell it," says the 30-something Ahyat, who has been investing in properties for the past 10 years and also runs workshops for wannabe property investors.

"If you have been strategic about investment, you would have known that the RPGT can go up anytime and you would have taken that into account in your investment plan. The worst strategy is when you have only one strategy," he stresses.

So he is not worried about hanging on a bit longer to the property that he had originally wanted to sell, because one of the rules he goes by is to make sure what he buys is an "investment-great asset".

For him, this means two things - that the property is "tenant-able" and that it has good potential for capital appreciation.

As a player, he also makes sure he has the holding power to hang on to a property and service the loan.

"But it's seen as uncool and yucky to talk to young investors about tenant-ability and capital appreciation. 'Buying for rent' is so old school to them. I've had people calling me a 'sissy investor' .

"Everyone was talking about 'I buy, I get the keys, I flip'. How can that be sustainable?

"When I advocate responsible and sustainable investment, it is like a joke," he says.

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